Youth Economic Empowerment Project in Akkar

2014-10-20


North LEDA has acquired the project of “Youth Economic Empowerement” in Akkar through the United Nations Development Programmes. This project is funded by the Japanese Government through the Japanese Embassy in Lebanon.

 

North LEDA will be the Local Implementing Partner while the local stakeholders will include the Union of Municipalities in Akkar. This project aims to socially and economically empower disadvantaged youth in market oriented technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills, confidence building and empowering skills necessary to improve their access to productive resources and sustainable earning potential through connecting them with potential employers or clients, if the trainees decide to start their own enterprises. 

Akkar is considered as one of the most impoverished areas of Lebanon. It has been deprived from any sort of sustainable social or economic development for so long, resulted in having a weak infrastructure and the presence of any channels for proper job creations mainly for youth.

Living in such conditions have led the youth who remained in these areas to relocate to other remote regions including Tripoli and Beirut to live and work, resulting more lack of economic development.
However, Akkar labor market is a mix between rural and urban types and no real assessment were ever conducted to set the nature of the market needs, trends and requirement. 

These factors, combined, have led to a deprived livelihood situation to the youth in Akkar directly, thus affecting directly and indirectly all the community in the area.
As general explanation, the project will involve a market mapping of skills demanded in local market and the larger Lebanese economy that can be effectively transferred within the duration of the project.  The youth selected for the training will be enrolled in training programs at specialized institutions or as apprentices with partner entrepreneurs and will be provided a scholarship during the training.

The project consists of three phases: Preparation, Implementation and Support. 
The preparation phase will cover activities regarding the skills demand study, the economic opportunity mapping, the youth trainees identification, and the training facilities in addition to the trainers and the requirements. The second phase: the implementation, it will cover activities concerning the training provision, as for the third phase: the support, it will represent the closure of the project in terms of the prize, market linkage, incubation and support for the final selected trainees.

Furthermore, the youth having interest and aptitude for entrepreneurship will be encouraged to accumulate some savings from the scholarship to start their independent enterprises after being trained. Such potential entrepreneurs will be considered for a small start-up grants/ toolkits, depending on their performance and capacity.  Some of the trained youth can be considered for employment on crisis response initiatives underway in the target area that involves skilled labor.

A database of trained youth and prospective employers will be created and maintained at the North LEDA who will operate a help-desk for youth employment, providing linkages and advice in the future.